EXCLUSIVE With Paul Canoville – Pt-3 – The Indian Experience

Updated: October 22, 2015

Paul Canoville, a Chelsea legend and the club’s first ever black player sat down with Chelsea Index for an exclusive interview, talking about the difficulties he has faced in life, to Chelsea’s poor form this season, before speaking about his trip to India as part of a football clinic where he would also spend time with his fans.

In the first part of our interview, Canners, as Paul Canoville is more affectionately known by the Blues’ faithful, spoke in length about the issue of racism back in his days as well as how it is still prevailing in football. In the next part, he shed light on his opinion of Chelsea’s current slump and silverware prospects, while also discussing the suitability of Jose Mourinho as the manager and the prospects of Chelsea’s youngsters.

In the third and final installment of the interview, we speak to him about his upcoming visit to India. Paul Canoville visited India along with fellow ex-Blues Gary Stanley and Keith Dublin some time back to conduct a football clinic for young, emerging footballers at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai.

Later this year, another visit is being planned, but this time, in addition to the football camp, there promises to be interactive sessions with Chelsea fans in Mumbai, and possibly in Delhi and Bengaluru.

Between his visits to India, a lot has changed. The Indian Super League is now firmly established and attracting top international talent and big names like Roberto Carlos, Florent Malouda, Helder Postiga, Nicolas Anelka and Simao, among others. Clubs have been investing more at the grassroots level to improve the standard of the kids.

Paul Canoville has worked with young Indian players in his last trip and he believes that India having a strong national team is just a matter of spotting 2 and 2.

“Hopefully, this [planned India visit] can go ahead. The first visit was an experience for me. First time I’ve ever been there but the people were so, so nice and took me in so well, that the young boys, I was very surprised with the young talent that they had there and that they were very deep in growth into football.

“Obviously, India’s not known for playing football, their sport is cricket, just like the West Indians but now in this world, the individuals are coming up, so hopefully we can come there and find a few individuals that can shine and probably, you know, be moved forward in coming into England and getting advanced and producing some goods here and yeah, it’s looking good and hopefully we can spot 2 and 2.”

He feels that it is key for a country to attract top players and that is exactly what the Indian Super League is helping India to do and eventually become a footballing powerhouse.

“It’s very interesting, that Super League. It’s not going to happen in days or months. Football’s one of the greatest games throughout the whole wide world, so why not there in India that they can produce the same thing? I think individual players of class have to realise what India has to offer, in making them come there and play. I think that’s what’s happening at the moment.

“Maybe the stadiums could be a lot better, maybe the ground could be a lot better. Little improvements, but this is something, obviously, each time, each year, each season, the people in charge will look upon. But yeah, there’s no doubt, there always is something that can improve and something that can be better. But it’s obviously a shock for everybody that the Super League is happening there in India. This can only be good for the country and good for soccer itself, well done.”

Paul Canoville is scheduled to visit India in the second week of December in order to conduct a football clinic and interact with Chelsea fans in India.

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